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MEG 2: THE TRENCH (2023)

Release Date: 08/04/23 [Cinemas]
Genre: Action. Adventure. Horror.

Studio: Warner Bros. Pictures. 

"A research team encounters multiple threats while exploring the depths of the ocean, including a malevolent mining operation." 


After the success of Jon Turteltaub's box office hit The Meg, the announcement of a sequel came as no surprise. Sure, the 2018 film based on Steve Alten’s "Meg: A Novel of Deep Terror" may explain where part of the film’s loyal fanbase arose, but it also became a massive hit among creature feature fans intrigued to see what chaos a prehistoric shark could bring to the ocean's depths. In fact, many movie lovers I have spoken with who love the franchise's first installment were unaware that a novel based on the shark even exists. 

When viewing the Meg 2: The Trench trailer, the Ben Wheatley-directed film appeared even more outlandish than its predecessor. From Jason Statham battling a megalodon while riding on a jet-ski to Wu Jing jumping from a helicopter Mission Impossible style while attempting to escape a monstrous octopus, the sequel presented as a promising follow-up. 

Undoubtedly, the feature delivers satisfying action sequences as various megalodons, alongside other menacing creatures, go head-to-head with the main cast, with Statham front and center stage. Once havoc ensues, it’s one hell of a fun time, though the carnage is only present for the last 35 minutes or so of the film. In a sense, Meg 2: The Trench feels like two stories plastered together and plagued by uneven pacing.

The first 60 minutes, minus one decent action-filled scene, is a total snooze fest. Due to minimal megalodon appearances for more than half the film’s runtime, I almost forgot I was watching a shark movie, period. Once the third act finally arrives, the mayhem goes into overdrive, giving viewers what they hoped to see in the first place, though it’s rushed and disjointed from the rest of the story.

Instead, Wheatley’s focal point is the mystery of the underwater mining operation at the expense of the creatures. Perhaps he took this approach to bring his unique spin to the franchise, but it makes no impact, is dull, and isn’t what the audience signed up for.

With that said, there are still some enjoyable performances. Statham brings his charm, as always, with gimmicky one-liners that make you giggle and roll your eyes simultaneously. There’s no denying that he’s made for these suave character-type roles and, somehow, always pulls them off. 

Another film highlight is Jing, who is a joy to watch. Regardless of all the ridiculousness and poor script, his acting abilities shine through, and he steals the show every time he’s onscreen.  

Overall, Meg 2: The Trench is hit-and-miss. Passionate franchise fans may appreciate the thrills once the film reaches the climax, but the journey to get there is one hell of a slog.

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